Joseph Connell, Sr.

I was born, raised, and educated in New York City having graduated from the Engineering School at CUNY. Following graduation, I worked in a large Manhattan office doing a variety of projects throughout the country in architecture and civil engineering. I came to Santa Barbara in 1962 for a temporary 2 year engineering project involving the design, re-design/widening, and construction of many of the roads water mains, and sewer lines in Santa Barbara and Montecito including outer State Street, Milpas Street, Shoreline Drive (from SBCC to the Mesa), Meigs-Carrillo, and others.

At the conclusion of these temporary projects, I made the observation, as many others have done, that Santa Barbara was a pretty nice place to live. I purchased a lot on TV hill and designed and constructed my personal residence. The entire process lasted 6 months which, today, would be unheard of. My students and I often discuss the process today usually lasting for a few years.

In 1979, I was commissioned by SBCC to plan, design, and oversee construction of the remodeling of 2 abandoned elementary schools as to what is today the Schott and Wake Continuing Education Centers. With my involvement in these projects, which lasted about 2 years, I became acquainted with many of the SBCC administrators, most notably President David Mertes soon followed by President Peter MacDougall, Academic Vice-President Pat Huglin, and Dean Mel Elkins, each of whom had a desire to commence a Drafting program at SBCC. Prior to this time, drafting included 2 or 3 classes, called Industrial Technology, offered alternately at SBCC and San Marcos High School.

I was hired in Fall 1981, as full time SBCC faculty, with the purpose of initiating a new Drafting Department. College administrators, staff, and I worked together on the planning for this program, remodeled several classrooms in the lower portion of the OE Building which today includes rooms OE 16, OE 14 and OE 12, planned the curriculum, purchased and installed the equipments for this new department. All the drafting equipment at that time included the use of traditional drafting methods such as tables, T-squares, pencils, etc. Computer-Aided-Drafting (CAD) was not introduced in the department until 1984, and presently is one component of our department with the traditional drafting still in place in the same classroom it originated, and comprising the other component of our department. As of 2013 the Department began the remodeling of its classrooms to include additional CAD workstations while still retaining some of the traditional drafting practices.

1. I came to Santa Barbara in 1962.

2. Companies that I worked for:

1962-63 Engineering-Science Inc.

1963-70 City of Santa Barbara Public Works Department

1970-73 Connell Engineering & Surveying (self-employed)

1973-76 County of Santa Barbara Public Works Department

1976-77 U. S. Grant & Son Engineering & Surveying

1977-81 Connell Engineering & Surveying (self-employed)

Leave a Reply